From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
have you been to the palace of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, of recent? The palace, located at Alusekere Compound, Popoyemoja, Ibadan, now wears a new look.
The new look it wears stemmed from the massive construction work that is on going barely five months after the coronation of the monarch. A recent visit revealed that the main building in the palace has been given a befitting facelift. The ground floor of the two-storey edifice being used as palace has been adorned with Plaster of Paris (POP), tiles and other decorations.
The edifice painted brown was built about 25 years ago by Oba Adetunji when he was a chief. It is like he knew since then that he would eventually become the paramount ruler of Ibadan land. Daily Sun gathered that many of the relatives of the monarch and royal staff have moved into the palace, which necessitated creation of additional space.
Recent visitors to the palace would notice two new buildings in the palace on the verge of completion. The royal household felt there is need for additional building to create space for the palace staff as well as members of the extended family.
They decided to erect a new building patterned after the original building in the compound. The third building will serve as office for palace workers. The status has changed and they deemed it fit that additional space is needed for the palace to function effectively.
Why did he build such a magnificent two-storey mansion 25 years ago? Did he know he would become Olubadan by then and the mansion would eventually serve as his palace?
Director, Media and Public Affairs to Olubadan, Mr. Adeola Oloko, responded: “The Olubadan chieftaincy system is such that it takes about 40 years to get to the throne. So, it is not as if somebody has predicted that he would become Olubadan.
“If you are in the line of Oluabadan, once you become a senior chief, you will realise you are getting close, hence the need for you to build a palace for yourself with the hope that one day you will become Olubadan. But it is God that ordains a king.
“If you go to the residences of high chiefs of Ibadan, they all have palaces. If you go to the palace of the late Balogun of Ibadanland, Chief Suleiman Omiyale, he had a palatial building. But he did not get there.
“At Kobomoje, the late high chief Layi Balogun had a mighty building there. But he did not get there. They build such magnificent buildings so that people around their respective communities could bring matters of controversies to them for resolution.”
How much did it cost Oba Adetunji to build the edifice and what is its value now? “If you compute how much the building was erected 25 year ago, it will make no meaning today. On the monetary value of the building now, I cannot give you the answer just like that. The palace will let you know later, probably after the building would have been valued.”
The first building in the palace reportedly has 25 rooms and three big spaces that can serve as royal chambers, one of which is being used as a palace. The second building in the palace, which its construction started after Oba Adetunji’s installation on Friday March 4, 2016, is patterned after the main building. It is also a two-story building with 18 rooms. The third building is expected to serve as office for palace staff. Some of the offices that would be accommodated in the block include media, protocol, security and drummers.
Oloko explained that the construction of the additional buildings in the palace as well as POP for the palace chambers were financed by Oba Adetunji, though he preferred to be silent on the budget for the project. Where is the money coming from? Oloko stated that Oba Adetunji has been a man of means before he became Olubadan. He added that he owns more than 30 landed property in Lagos and Ibadan, apart from being a member of board of directors of several companies.